08/20/2012 11:12 am
I had the privilege of co-hosting a baby shower for a dear friend who was thrilled to find out her third child is going to be a girl. She’s the mom of two cute boys, so of course we had to throw her a fancy party with lots of pink. What’s the perfect theme to celebrate a new baby girl?
Sugar and spice and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.
Food: Catered by Lara from love, cook, eat, repeat
06/05/2012 10:56 pm
Father’s Day is right around the corner and I have found some cute gift ideas for our favorite dads (and grandpas).
(personalized key chain, matching shirts, cute card, tie snacks)
(tie clip, trophy found on Pinterest, Dad print, my stache)
Most of the items above were found on Etsy. The best way to shop etsy.com is to type “Father’s Day” in the search box and you will get a huge selection of gifts. I did the same thing to find craft ideas on Pinterest. Make sure you shop as soon as possible to guarantee you will get your items on time.
Let’s spoil all of the amazing fathers in our lives!
05/17/2012 2:08 pm
(Image from EWG’s website)
Summer is quickly approaching and I am already bringing out the sunscreen more and more for my little ones. Last year I read about the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep Sunscreen website that rates sunscreens, and I vowed to stop using some of the most popular sprays and lotions because they have harmful ingredients in them. I have been waiting for their 2012 update and it’s finally here!
EWG rates more than 1,800 sunscreens and SPF-rated lip balms, moisturizers, and makeup and gives them each a number rating (lowest being the best). You can find the rating of the sunscreen you are currently using, and you will probably be very surprised. I bet that most of them are in the high hazard level, or at least moderate hazard level. That is because most of the readily available brands are turning out to be some of the worst. Purchasing good sunscreens will require a little bit of homework, searching, or buying online, but it is so worth it. I feel better knowing what is soaking into my children’s skin all summer is low hazard.
There are still a lot of unknowns about sunscreen safety. Each year they unearth more science on how we can protect our skin. I found this information on their Sunscreens Exposed section.
“Highlights? Only 1 in 4 sunscreens earns high marks for safety and efficacy. Products with exaggerated SPF claims above 50 still crowd out better brands, and nearly one-fourth of this year’s crop of sunscreens contains vitamin A, an additive that can accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions.”
That’s not good! EWG also has a 2012 Hall of Shame for sunscreens that don’t quite make the mark, as well as why spray and powders should be avoided.
For those who don’t want to scour the website, here are some Quick Tips for a good sunscreen:
I know that it can be overwhelming to try and find the best products for our children, but by doing a little research and being informed, you can rest easy that you are making the right choices for your family. This year, I did my sunscreen shopping online and it only cost me $3.10 to ship a sunscreen and a sunscreen stick. Totally worth it. If you want another way to shop easier, you can download their 2012 Sunscreen App to your phone (I did) and take it with you to the stores.
04/23/2012 8:47 pm
The way I feed my children has changed and evolved immensely over the last seven years. One thing, however, has remained the same; I am always working towards balancing both healthy and fun foods that they can enjoy in moderation. I am constantly inspired by different styles of eating and I usually take bits and pieces from other people and then make choices for my own family. Right now I feel like I am in a really great place, feeding my family home cooked meals made of fresh ingredients. I am also providing lots of fruits and vegetables, and saving treats for special occasions (usually making them myself). This has come from the influence of other moms who make their food interesting and educational and help me to be better in the kitchen.
I am excited to introduce you to two women who provide me with many healthy eating and cooking ideas. They are mommies who are committed to what they eat and love to share it with anyone who will listen.
Lara at Love, Cook, Eat, Repeat loves to cook. Okay she doesn’t just love it, she is passionate about it. She makes cooking fun, interesting, and beautiful, and along the way inspires others to take a little extra time to make delicious and fresh meals for their own families. Her style and the way she writes about her food draws me in and helps me to understand that feeding your family is more than just following a recipe, it’s putting love into each step, addition, and creation that you make. She believes in the importance of healthy foods going into your children’s bodies because it will leave lasting imprints on their future eating habits. I am not a great cook, but Lara’s posts inspire me to be more creative and spontaneous in the choices that I make. She has three little ones and they eat so many different kinds of foods. In a whim she throws in beets, cauliflower, and other tempting ingredients. By introducing a variety of fresh and new foods to my table, my kids have become more adventurous and willing to try meals that they never would have liked before. I jump for joy every time she posts a new creation because I know it will be amazing and I like the way she talks about food. Her blog is like a good conversation instead of a site full of recipes.
Next up, Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food. I recently came across this blog and I visit it quite often for recipes, updates, and tips for eating real food. I have not done her challenge, but I am invested in cutting out processed foods and sugars and her blog is such an amazing resource for that. In fact, it’s jam packed full of information. I love the topics that she posts such as School Lunch Roundup and “Real Food” Condiments: Do They Exist? She inspires me to say no to junk food and to focus on putting as much good stuff in my kids’ bodies as I can. I may not be as strict as Lisa, but I love taking all of the information in and making it work for my family. I have noticed a huge difference in all of us.
The way that we cook and the food that we choose for our families is tremendously important and I am so grateful for all of the inspiration I have found. Who inspires the way your family eats?
04/11/2012 9:50 pm
I threw my daughter a tea party for her 4th birthday and I love how it turned out. Luckily I had the help of Sandie Williams at English Rose Teas. I had been to a few of her women’s tea parties and couldn’t wait until my daughter was old enough to have her own little girls party. Sandie provided all of the treats and the beautiful cake. She is an amazing baker. The best actually because everything is 100% homemade! We decided on the menu ahead of time and had so many fun things to eat like strawberry cream cheese sandwiches, nutella sandwiches, cake pops, chocolate covered strawberries, heart-shaped scones, mini cupcakes, and so much more. Sandie even brought some extra surprises that were not on our menu. You can’t see it in the pictures but we had two whole sections filled with lovely eats. She brought all of the linens, china, and serving ware. I also had a separate tea in another room for the moms so Sandie had a lot of tea to serve. Everything was perfect!
I made the decorations myself. From the tulle around the table, to the personalized place cards for the girls. A lot of love went into the details. I wanted to make sure my little girl and her sweet friends had a great day.
If you are looking for a fun party for a little girl at any age, a tea party is such a wonderful option, especially for those who want a girls-only party like my sassy daughter.
04/04/2012 10:49 am
Easter is only a few days away and there are so many cute and easy ideas that you can incorporate! Here are some of my favorites.
How adorable is this bunny shaped cookie cutter filled with M&M’s? You can also give your guests a little cellophane bag to take their candy and cookie cutter home. So fun! You can find this Easter idea and more at All About You.
Doesn’t this Easter Candy Bark look beautiful and delicious? Find the easy instructions on Gingerbread Bagels.
Pretty glitter eggs to decorate your table? You can find the tutorial on Martha Stewart.
If you celebrate Easter as more than just the Easter Bunny you will love these Resurrection Cookies. A great way to explain to your children the meaning of Easter. You can choose which steps to explain based on your own discretion. Either way they will be so surprised in the morning. Instructions can be found here.
Wouldn’t these sock bunnies look so cute in your child’s Easter basket? They only cost around $2.50 each to make if you already have buttons and stuffing. You can see the tutorial over at Lil Boo Blue. And if you want to see the ones I made, you can check them out at my blog Assorted Lovelies.
Sometimes simple really is better. If you need a last minute decoration for Easter, how great is this candle display made with jelly beans? I found this simple display at All About You.
Wishing you a wonderful Easter with your family. Please check back next week for an adorable little girl’s tea party!
03/09/2012 5:02 pm
I am so excited for this giveaway. I love having a little girl who plays with dolls. Piper adores her Little Mommy – Baby So New Doll. It’s a soft, cuddly newborn and Piper looks so cute taking it everywhere with her. Each doll comes with a bottle or pacifier, and a blanket. The blanket is Piper’s favorite part! The Baby So New dolls are for 18 months and up and you can choose Caucasian, African American or Hispanic.
Little Mommy dolls are designed to allow little girls to nurture and emulate the roll of today’s mom. There are also toddler dolls like the Sweet as Me doll and the Princess and the Potty doll. You can find them at most major toy retailers.
Lucky for us I have a Baby So New doll to give away! Yay!
To enter just leave a comment on this blog. So simple.
For extra entries you can like the following pages and leave an additional comment for each here.
- “like” the Little Mommy Facebook page
- “like” the OC Family Facebook page
- “like” my Facebook page
Giveaway ends Thursday, March 15th at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen at random.
Congrats to Susan M. for winning! Thanks for entering!
03/02/2012 8:17 am
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! I tend to skip it because it’s right after the Valentine’s Day excitement and right before the anticipation of decorating for Easter. But this year I want to do a few easy things to make it special for my children. So after some Internet searching I found my favorite and oh-so simple St. Patrick’s Day ideas.
The Lucky Clover Craft is something sweet to do with your kids. It’s a great way to remind them of all of the things they have to be thankful and feel lucky for. Instructions can be found on the Lisa Storms blog.
Here is a fun and easy breakfast for your little ones. Who doesn’t love Lucky Charms? Read more about a lucky breakfast at Thoughtfully Simple.
Don’t these rainbow fruit skewers look delicious? Every child will want to eat one. You could also use strawberries or green grapes and maybe put a marshmallow on the end to represent a cloud. Go to Quick Dish to see these fruit skewers and some adorable rainbow pancakes.
How cute are these rainbow pots? Just put colored licorice and rolos in a mason jar. Love them. See the tutorial over at JCasa Handmade.
Easy and healthy snack from the fabulous Martha Stewart. I think any kid would give these a try with a favorite dip.
A perfect and simple garland decoration. Just buy plain green construction paper and some cute green scrapbook prints and off you go. Remember making these in elementary school? You can see more from this “Green Day” party at Hostess Blog.
Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and leave a comment with your favorite finds.
02/20/2012 4:54 pm
I am always trying to find the right class or activity for my kids. I want to put them in something that is not just fun, but where they can learn and thrive. But, I find that I am quick to buy the latest Groupon or special deal and we get stuck in a class that turns out to be just okay. I always feel disappointed.
Then I discovered Mindful Octopus. It’s something special and completely unique. I took my three year old daughter to a trial class and not only did she love it, but I loved it. Mindful Octopus is located in Laguna Beach and is a yoga program for kids. It’s more than just yoga though; it’s storytelling, learning mindfulness, and art all in one. Oh, and did I mention it’s at an art studio, how cool is that?
“Mindful Octopus is a pioneering, storytelling yoga program for kids. We specialize in children and are certified to introduce the practice of yoga and meditation through the ancient art of storytelling. We plant the seeds of health, imagination, and mindfulness through story, yoga, and art, while having fun!
Founded by a Mom, the Mindful Octopus mission is to bring peace, love, and happiness to kids, through a modern practice of story, yoga, and art.”
If you want to try something different and see how special the class is, I highly recommend it. Samantha, the owner and teacher, is beyond wonderful and is obviously passionate about what she does. She teaches three different age groups starting at 3-years-old all the way up to 13-years-old.
Did I mention your first class is free?
Maybe I will see you there!
AR4T gallery in Laguna Beach, located at 210 North Coast Hwy.
02/06/2012 10:04 pm
Do you remember this post? One of the things I was most looking forward to this year was taking my kids to the Discovery Science Center for the first time. I am happy to report that we went to the opening of the Dora & Diego Let’s Explore exhibit and we had a great time!
My kids had fun wandering all of the different Dora & Diego adventures and when we were done we explored the rest of the center. It was such a rewarding day and there was something unique and exciting for each member of the family. In fact, I am thinking of becoming a member since the membership price is so good.
I am thrilled that I can check off a wish on my to-do list for this year.
The Dora & Diego exhibit runs until May 6th and the Star Wars exhibit until April 15th (you will need to pay an extra exhibit fee).
Discovery Science Center
2500 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705